Affective Learning — a manifesto

This document was created by MIT Media Lab colleagues, Rozalind Picard, Seymour Papert, Walter Bender, Bruce Blumberg, Cynthia Breazeal, David Cavallo, Tod Machover, Mitchel Resnick, Deb Roy and Carol Strohecker in 2004. .

The use of the computer as a model, metaphor, and modelling tool has tended to privilege the ‘cognitive’ over the ‘affective’ by engendering theories in which thinking and learning are viewed as information processing and affect is ignored or marginalised. In the last decade there has been an accelerated flow of findings in multiple disciplines supporting a view of affect as complexly intertwined with cognition in guiding rational behaviour, memory retrieval, decision-making, creativity, and more. It is time to redress the imbalance by developing theories and technologies in which affect and cognition are appropriately integrated with one another. This paper describes work in that direction at the MIT Media Lab and projects a large perspective of new research in which computer technology is used to redress the imbalance that was caused (or, at least, accentuated) by the computer itself.

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